What is a cone beam CT?
Cone beam CT (or CBCT) has been a game-changer for dentistry. Traditional dental x-rays are two dimensional, but a CBCT gives the dentist a 3-D view of the patient’s important dental structures. This added information helps the After Orthodontics™ team deliver better and safer care. We know exactly where nerves, bone, and teeth are located, and how to get you the best results possible. Not every dentist has a CBCT because not every procedure requires advanced imaging. However, orthodontists and surgeons often use advanced imaging. CBCT is becoming a standard of care for many of the procedures we offer because the additional details significantly improve patient safety.
Is a CBCT safe?
It’s a great question and very important to discuss with patients. Many patients worry about harmful radiation to the head and neck. A regular CT scan, that you might receive in a hospital, for medical reasons can create a lot of radiation. Younger patients in particular should only receive a CT scan of the head when absolutely necessary. Cone beam CT is different. The cone-shaped beam produces a very small amount of radiation compared to a medical CT. Our CBCT would not provide enough data for some medical purposes, but it is perfect for dentistry! CBCTs produce a very small amount of radiation: about the same as you would receive flying from Augusta to Los Angeles. At After Orthodontics™, we take your health and safety very seriously. Different pictures provide different information. We order as few x-rays as reasonably possible (as recommended by the American Dental Association). Definitely ask an After Orthodontics™ team member if you have any questions about the x-rays being taken.